Back in Hershey for a busy day at GIANT Center starting with PIAA Basketball, and ending with exciting Hershey Bears Hockey. The Bears and the Providence Bruins are one of the newest division rivals created courtesy of the realigned Atlantic Division.
Both teams met Saturday, and Sean Collins gave Hershey a first period lead. Connor Carrick connected with Collins on a headman pass, received cleanly on the backhand, sending Collins on a semi-breakaway. He beat Jeremy Smith five hole with 7:38 to play in the period.
It was the lone strike in an evenly matched period, as the Bears carried a 1-0 advantage into the locker room after 20 minutes.
Hershey controlled the pace well even-strength, won puck battles in the offensive zone on the forecheck, and it led to chances on the man advantage. On the Bears’ second crack on the power play, Scott Gomez set up Riley Barber at 3:19. It was an offensive rush, Gomez dropped a pass to an open Barber, who beat Smith low, stick side.
A great opening 40 minutes for the Chocolate and White leads to a 2-0 third period lead.
The most dangerous lead in hockey was cut in half just 27 seconds into the third period. Austin Czarnik broke Dan Ellis’ early shutout bid with his 15th goal of the campaign. At 4:55, Nathan Walker restored the two-goal lead and picked up the eventual game-winning goal, bringing 10,626 fans to their feet.
Brandon DeFazio cut Providence’s deficit to one in the final minute, but could not find the equalizer. Bears add win number 29 on the season, and will rematch the Bruins once more tomorrow night.
Submitted by intern Matt Trust